Scientists at IIT Madras and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have grown tiny amounts of self-assembling brain tissue called organelles in a small, inexpensive 3D-printed system that allows continuous monitoring as it grows and develops.
The research results will be published in the peer-reviewed international journal Biomicrofluidics. The research team included Ikram Khan, Prof Anil Prabhakar from Madras at IIT and Chloe Delepin, Hailey Tsang, Vincent Pham and Prof Miriganka Sur from MIT. The technology is now patented by the research development team, who are now exploring the possibility of international collaboration.
“Cell culture is one of the most important steps in validating human organ models, be it preclinical studies on Covid-19, the discovery of cancer drugs or other drugs that should be used in humans. There is an open challenge: the long-term cultivation of cells and their investigation in real time to better understand the effects of the drug,” the scientists said in a statement.
This new discovery helps provide long-term human brain cell cultures and real-time images through continuous cell growth via a 3D-printed micro-incubator and imaging camera developed on a palm-sized platform.
Take advantage of 3D printing for inexpensive cerebellum breeding
Currently, real-time monitoring of culture organelles is carried out with commercial culture dishes, which are expensive and only compatible with certain microscopes. And because the container is closed to avoid contamination by microorganisms in the air, the addition of nutrients such as amino acids, vitamins, salts and glucose is not possible. As a result, the cells usually die within a few days.
Recent advances use a new technique called microfluidic, in which the nutrient medium is delivered through tiny tubes attached to platforms or tiny chips. However, these devices are also expensive and quite difficult to manufacture. Don’t forget their opaque design that doesn’t allow scientists to observe what’s going on inside.
Also read : 3D Printing Technology in Healthcare (Medical)
Ikram Khan of IIT Madras and his colleagues from MIT tried to solve this problem. They used 3D printing to create a reusable, customizable platform that costs only about $5 per unit of production – cheaper than KFC buckets.